Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The McArdle Files: I Want You To Believe (Whatever I Say)

Megan McArdle has been busy being wrong, but not even she can get away with it forever. So far she has floated on a winsome smile, prodigious networking skills, and a Coulteresque love of insulting her "enemies," but all good things come to an end.

Megan McArdle says that New York's calorie labeling program may be a bust, although she notes the caveats from the study. The study says that while calorie labeling might not be sufficient to change behavior yet, it could be part of a solution in time. In other words, the study itself says McArdle's title is wrong. McArdle, as the world's tallest economics blogger, knows readers often don't get past the headline, so mission accomplished anyway.

McArdle speculates on the Congressional Budget Office's review of health care reform. She corrects her wrong speculation here: "So, the CBO report is out, and my estimate of the contents is totally wrong."

McArdle explains a report issued by the health insurance industry. She says:
This plan doesn't have any mechanism to keep their premiums down, or control the costs that accrue to their employees; any cost savings there are occur in Medicare or the non-group market. What it offers them is . . . an excise tax on high cost plans. Yes, yes . . . healthy workforce! Preventative care! All I can say is, these marvelous savings do not seem to be accruing to employers in Massachusetts--or for that matter, people on the exchange, whose premiums are apparently increasing even faster this year than they did before reform.

Ezra Klein corrects her mistakes here. The commenters correct her mistakes regarding Massachusetts and Medicare at great length (to the utter confusion of her poor fanboys) when she repeats her claim that health care costs can't be controlled.. McArdle's gracious acknowledgement of her error and Klein's correction:
Update: I have more insight into the CBO/JCT calculation of the excise tax that gives the criticisms more bite . . . but also raises some questions about the revenue predictions.
McArdle writes a post to cover up her excise tax error here, snidely noting Klein's correction.

And here, McArdle brags about fiance P. Suderman's health care work. He will have to find his own debunkers--we're too busy. McArdle is very high maintenance.

McArdle relates her hopes that health care reform will fail, because she can't imagine a world in which she isn't prosperous and protected. Hopefully life will correcct her wrong assumptions.

Finally, Megan posts again on the CBO study, and helpfully provides the inevitable and utterly necessary correction herself. I guess she's learning that the longer you ignore your errors, the louder the laughter becomes.


Downpuppy said...

Yesterday, when she was in her full Prancing about pretending to do deep numerical analysis mode, I succumbed to the giggles.

clever pseudonym said...

Funny, isn't "insight into the CBO/JCT calculation" something you're supposed to acquire before you write about something? Doesn't Megan ever get embarrassed about having so many people point out how wrong she is so many times? She must suffer from a highly delusional obtuseness and honestly believe it really is everyone "misunderstanding her point."

It's a pity the only time she's ever exhibited the slightest amount of shame is when she stopped recipe blogging. At least those posts were amusing.

Ken Houghton said...

"Megan McArdle says that New York's calorie labeling program may be a bust,"

And why would she want that to be so?? Ms. Asymmetrical Information herself should surely want her Libertarian colleagues to have as much information as they can so that they can make informed decisions.

Or do all Libertarians just pull things out of their asses?

Susan of Texas said...

Downpuppy, you did good work. Watching her try to weasle out of her mess was pure gold.

CP, I bet she was ordered to stop. There definition of shame on Wikipedia includes the following:

Fossum and Mason say in their book Facing Shame that "While guilt is a painful feeling of regret and responsibility for one's actions, shame is a painful feeling about oneself as a person."[6] Following this line of reasoning, Psychiatrist Judith Lewis Herman concludes that "Shame is an acutely self-conscious state in which the self is 'split,' imagining the self in the eyes of the other; by contrast, in guilt the self is unified."[7]

Perhaps as long as she sees herself as superior, she can't feel shame and change her behavior.

Ken, evidently the answer is yes. It's pretty funny to watch her need to cherry-pick and obfuscate conflict with her desire to be the all-wise Authority.

clever pseudonym said...

Can you imagine? Megan flubs her facts, spelling, editing, and writing on a daily basis. She violates film review embargoes ("accidentally") and attacks other journalists by calling them crooked or incompetent. The vain navel-gazer endorses high-end products at Amazon without disclosing that she'll make money if you click on the link she provides and buy it. The only time anyone at the Atlantic puts her on a leash? When she posts a crappy macaroni and cheese recipe.

Ahhh, the state of modern journalism.

Mr. Wonderful said...

Yeah, I think guilt is what you feel after judging yourself, and shame is what you feel after judging yourself by adopting the point of view of the community.

MM has no shame because, as others here have said, her vanity and delusions prevent her from seeing herself as others might see her.

Also, like Jonah the Whale, her status as an "authority" now convinces her that *anything* she writes is worthwhile. Jonah writes, "I haven't thought about this and am too busy to get to it, so will someone do it for me?" and thinks he's said something.

Megan write about mac and cheese, and makes product recommendations, etc.